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Strange Bedfellows (2004)

  Directed by: Dean Murphy
Written by: Stewart Faichney, Dean Murphy
Starring: Michael Caton, Paul Hogan, Pete Postlethwaite
Links: Strange Bedfellows on the IMDb
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Mildly amusing, I guess" - a review by mino

Strange Bedfellows is one of those movies that, on the face of it, sounds astoundingly unfunny. Paul Hogan and Michael Caton pretending to be gay. There's more to it than that, I guess, but not very much.

I sincerely doubt that many people looked at the previews for Strange Bedfellows and thought to themselves ‘wow, that sounds funny!’. Caton's usually good value, sure, but Paul Hogan? Please. And didn't the whole ‘pretending to be a sexual orientation other than your own’ thing stop being funny — well, I don't know when, but somewhere around The Birdcage (1996)?

Well, I'm not going to come out and say that Strange Bedfellows is a rip-roaringly hilarious comedy, 'cause it ain't. But it is a fair bit better than I was expecting, and that always makes for a little moviegoing treat.

Caton and Hogan are Ralph and Vince, best buddies in the small Victorian country town of Yackandandah. When the government passes a law granting gay couples all the tax benefits enjoyed by heterosexual ones as a vote-winner (this in itself is the funniest thing in the movie, for those following the Australian political scene at the moment), Vince — crippled by a huge tax debt — sees a chance to finally get a break in life, if only he can convince Ralph to play along and pretend to be his lover when the taxman turns up to verify their claim.

Look, Strange Bedfellows is hardly going to revolutionise filmmaking. It's a collection of fairly standard jokes about ‘poofters’ (though, somewhat surprisingly, it's actually not at all offensive, and rather PC in its portrayal thereof; certainly a change from the Paul Hogan of twenty years ago) and C-grade comedy based around the two trying to hide their plan from the straight-as-a-die townsfolk. That said, it is at least moderately amusing in parts (mostly thanks to Caton, who largely reprises his role as Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle (1997), as he always does; no thanks at all to Hogan, who ranks only slightly above Yahoo Serious on the Aussie-Comedy-O-Meter).

Yes, it's most definitely ‘by the numbers’, and no-one in the movie seems to be trying very hard (least of all Pete Postlethwaite as the tax inspector, who seems totally uninterested in even appearing in the movie at all), but there are certainly less amusing comedies around. Don't go out of your way to see it; but it's not really one for the ‘to be avoided at all costs’ pile either.

mino gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 24 Jun 2004

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Reader comments

  1. I must say I really enjoyed this movie. I was dragged along by my mother but ended up having one of the most fun cinema experiences for a long time. Michael Caton was fantastic and as much as I hate to admit it, Paul Hogan was back to his original Dundee best. The two of them bounced off each other like life long friends. I found the moving a really charming surprise and would recommend highly to anyone who enjoys quirky comedies with a good heart.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Stevie on Tue 14 Sep 2004 20:02 #

  2. The movie is shit!

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from bryce mathews on Wed 15 Sep 2004 15:31 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 5.00 (2 ratings)

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